Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Participating in clinical research can make a life-saving difference in the lives of other people with similar conditions. Patients who volunteer for clinical trials also personally benefit in many ways, as these patients can access new approaches and treatments being tested for disease management before they are widely available to the general public.

For example, some trials involve extra tests and scans, so participating provides patients with additional information that potentially gives the health care team more information about the illness or disease behavior. Data from the trial can help doctors determine if and how treatments are working. And, because clinical trials study how well new medicines and other types of treatments or management processes work, patients who participate typically get at least the best known standard treatment and often benefit from fewer side effects than standard treatment protocol.

Is research confidential?

The same ethical and legal codes that apply to medical practice also apply to research. Clinical research is federally regulated, and this protects all volunteers and their personal information. All personal and medical information remain confidential—only seen by those authorized to do so.

What are the risks of participating in a clinical trial?

Research volunteers receive at least the same quality of care as other patients. Through informed consent, clinical trial participants receive information about the specific risks and benefits of the study and agree to participate only after reviewing this information.

Can a participant leave a clinical study?

Yes. A clinical trial participant may leave a study at any time. Volunteers agree to take part in the research study and may choose to leave at any point in time. If withdrawing from a study, the participant should contact the research team to inform them and provide the reasons for leaving the study. The participant many be asked to return for a safety evaluation before withdrawing from the study.